Welcome back to PICA

As Fall deepens and the days get shorter, and we put the garden to bed for the winter, I am excited about all of the new things happening at PICA.   First, the PICA community this year is awesome.   I am so impressed by the folks who have chosen to live in The Village and engage in building our community and sharing sustainable living.  In a new weekly seminar a large percentage of the resident PICAns meet and engage in explorations of living together sustainably, organizing community activities, and sharing food from the garden to the table.

Secondly, I am so pleased to see how PICA as a program is growing and gaining recognition as a place for all students, from different backgrounds and majors, to come together and experience first-hand what living sustainably is all about.   Under the umbrella of the Sustainable Living Center (SLC), PICA joins the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) as two important programs at UCSC where students turn sustainability into action.  We are part of a growing movement across campus where Sustainability is our goal.  There will be some exciting happenings in the near future as we join forces with this movement and help make UCSC a truly sustainable campus.

Thirdly, the excitement is building as we near our fund-raising goal for the Green Kitchen Project!  The building design has been completed, all permits obtained, and plans drawn up for locating it in the A-Quad at the SLC.  Having a truly sustainable kitchen facility will greatly expand the experience of being a PICAn, since we will have our own place for meals.  But beyond that, the building will demonstrate all of the latest in green building, alternative energy, and reducing our carbon footprint. It will become a Sustainable Living Laboratory for students from across campus and multiple majors to experience, learn about, and even research sustainable technologies. Please consider helping us in the final push to reach our fund-raising goal.  Any amount will make a difference, and ensure future PICAns will have the best experience possible. Visit www.ucscpica.org for more information and to donate.

And finally, I want to welcome our new PICA community coordinator, Mira Michelle.  She comes to us with multiple and extensive experiences in community building, environmental activism, and food system sustainability.  We have asked her to apply all of these skills in facilitating the growth and activities of the PICA residential community.  I believe that she represents a new phase in the development of PICA and the PICA experience, and I am excited to have her with us.  Welcome!

Steve Gliessman, Professor Emeritus, Co- Founder of PICA

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